Sunday, June 19, 2022

QHW, Day 7: Orcs

Orcs, as is well known, are the children of Gruumsh, God of Slaughter and Victory, and Luthic, Goddess of Mothers, Fertility and Plague.  Gruumsh, also called One-Eye, is usually portrayed as a massive Orc in a loincloth and cape of dripping crimson, with the occasional bit of bone armor and jewelry.  He wears an eyepatch or has an empty eye-socket, depending on the artist, and is usually depicted as holding a weapon across some sort of enemy.  The Orcs claim that he is the leader of all Orcs because he proved himself the strongest of their kind, and that strength granted him the right to rule over them.  Perhaps one day, someone will defeat Gruumsh, and this will grant them the right to become the new God of the Orcs.

Luthic, being female, does not need to compete in the masculine games of power.  Some female Orcs do attempt to compete in these masculine games, but they are generally not very successful. In the past, these girls were called the Daughters of One-Eye or less flattering nicknames, but more recently they have embraced such names. 

However, most female Orcs adhere closer to Luthic's example.  Luthic grants her husband the freedom to engage in honorable pursuits while busying herself with the messier side of existence that males are ill-suited for.  Female Orcs handle commerce and the busy-work of keeping their society running.  If the tribe survives by hunting, females clean and cook the game.  If they survive by farming, most of the work is done by them.  Males will assist, but only when masked and wearing dresses, so that their masculine honor is not harmed.  Female Orcs devote themselves to worldly matters, as unlike males, they were made from Luthic's blood and the mud on the hem of her dress. 

Male Orcs, on the other hand, devote themselves to spiritual matters, as they were created from Gruumsh's blood and the fragments of his dreams that escaped after he lost his eye.  Orc men devote themselves to higher ideals, such as honor, glory and victory, as well as to the veneration and praising of the Gods. 

This gendered split is profound and rarely breached, extending to the smallest things.  Male Orcs cannot read, and take pride in the fact.  Reading and writing are women's work.  To share information, Male Orcs memorize large amounts of information and repeat them back to each other.  The most important masculine works are memorized and held by a Tribe's Goran, Shaman or Priests. 

Similarly, all masculine Art among Orcs is epheremal and temporary.  Orc males create works of art out of multi-colored sand and let them blow away, meditating on the temporary nature of worldly things.  They perform plays, dance and sing.  Females make other forms of Art, namely sculpture, painting and drawing.

Orc children are raised by their mothers until they are seven years old.  Until then, they are permitted to go where they wish and do as they please.  To ensure a proud warrior spirit is created in each child, children are taken from their mothers and given to different women to raise, preferrably in another chest.  Women end up raising a child who is not their own.  

Furthermore, they are encouraged not to show affection to the child, as this displeases Gruumsh.  If you love your child too much, he will be cursed with weaknesses such as compassion and mercy later in life, which will only make it more likely that he will suffer and die.  As such, they are cruel and cold toward their offspring, so that their love might be apparent.         

No comments:

Post a Comment